TROUGH PEAKS

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Time was when city streets thronged with horse­drawn carts and car­riages, so drink­ing troughs for the an­i­mals were a fa­mil­iar part of the fur­ni­ture. When elec­tric trams came, the troughs were al­most im­me­di­ately re­dun­dant. Stone ex­am­ples with no scrap value were some­times re­tained as civic flower planters, but rel­a­tively few cast troughs sur­vived the melt­ing pot. An ex­cep­tion – ‘a great beast of a thing’ – turned up in a sale of ru­ral by­gones at Sil­ver­woods of Lan­cashire, re­moved in the 1950s by the ven­dor’s father from Pre­ston Mar­ket Square, best known to­day as the Flag Mar­ket. It sold for £1, 250, to serve again, this time, no doubt, in some­one’s gar­den.

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